Jones says it all

Ryan Jones has revealed the battle-cry that inspired Wales to Six Nations victory over arch rivals England. [more]

Jones says it all

Ryan Jones has revealed the battle-cry that inspired Wales to Six Nations victory over arch rivals England.

Wales skipper Jones told his team-mates in no uncertain terms what the Anglo-Welsh clash meant to him.

And his motivational team-talk came up smelling of roses on Valentine’s Day to fire the defending champions to their third successive championship victory over England.

Jones, 27, said: “I thought about the speech long and hard because there is no bigger game for a Welshman than England at home. It’s emotional and personal. 

“But we said in the build up that we could not get caught up in the momentum of it. We talked about it before but this team has grown up. 

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“We knew we would have to work hard but we’ve got heart and passion and been through a lot together – I wanted to address that.

“Some people talk about the future and history but that will take care of itself. We can only control the here and now.

“There was no place for tears on a Sunday morning or coming off the field saying that we had not done enough. There was no second chance.”

Leigh Halfpenny broke English hearts in Cardiff with a vital second-half try to clinch an eighth straight Six Nations win for the Three Feathers.

But Wales coach Warren Gatland hailed the influence of his inspirational leader.

Gatland said: “That’s the best I’ve heard Ryan speak to the players in the dressing room before a game. He spoke with great composure and passion. 

“I’ve been critical of him in the past about starting slowly in campaigns but after missing the Scotland game through injury, he had a huge game for us. 

“He was really physical, made a couple of crucial line-out takes and led from the front.”

Jones, capped 28 times, responded: “The captaincy is a role you grow into and I’m fortunate that I can now draw on past experiences.

“Warren is quite guarded so it’s great to hear forthcoming praise from the house’s mouth. He’s a clever guy and does play mind games.

“He chucks grenades at the players as well as other teams. It works for some people and doesn’t for others. That’s his mark of coaching and the best praise from him is being picked for the next game.”

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